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High School Confidential (1958)

High School Confidential concerns the efforts of a young undercover agent (Russ Tamblyn) to crack a high school dope-ring.

He enrols in the school as a student, builds a reputation as a ne’er-do-well (insulting his teachers with jive talk and smoking a joint in the principal’s office) and eventually makes a contact for marijuana through John Drew Barrymore, a fellow hipster and student.

As part of his cover, Tamblyn lives in the home of his supposed ‘aunt’, played by Mamie Van Doren.

One of the numerous delights in the film is Mamie’s earnest attempts to put the make on him even though he’s a government agent. The script never clarifies who, or what, Mamie really is, which makes those scenes even more surreal.

Barrymore introduces Russ to the head pusher (Jackie Coogan) who is operating out of a combination malt shop/dope den, gets the evidence he needs, and apprehends the evildoers (thanks to the miracles of Judo) and sends them off to the slammer with an appropriate speech.

The opening scene to the film features Jerry Lee Lewis (with piano and band) on the back of a flat-bed truck which is slowly driving through town.

Jerry pounds out the title tune (a hit for him on Sun Records) and a pack of jumping, jiving teenagers follow alongside as if he were the Pied Piper.

Tony Baker/Mike Wilson
Russ Tamblyn
Arlene Williams
Jan Sterling
J. I. Coleridge
John Drew Barrymore
Gwen Dulaine
Mamie Van Doren
Joan Staples
Diane Jergens
Jerry Lee Lewis 
Jerry Lee Lewis
Ray Anthony
Mr August (“Mr A”)
Jackie Coogan
Charles Chaplin Jr.
Jukey Judlow
Burt Douglas
Jody Fair
Robin Raymond
Jack Staples
James Todd
William Remington Kane
Lyle Talbot

Jack Arnold